Tech Check

Apple's 'Beat' To Go On Tomorrow (Be Here!)

Apple Inc. calls the gathering "...And the Beat Goes On," but investors wonder whether the news coming Tuesday at the invite-only special event will be enough to pump these shares even more.

Speculation abounds at just exactly what Apple will unveil: the big money bet is on a redesigned family of iPods, a product that really hasn't seen much change in almost two years. Everyone seems to be expecting a touch-screen device, ala the iPhone, with a far bigger and crisper display, ideal for movies and photos, along with larger storage. The blogs are also wild-eyed over the new iPods running on Apple's OS X operating system; and that Apple will unveil a new ring-tone service for iPhone.

The wild cards are an iPod with a wi-fi connection that'll allow for wireless music and video downloads, something Hollywood has been against; there's talk of a big push into casual gaming for both the iPod and iPhone; rumors or a new form factor and price for iPhone. There's also a lot of talk about bigger news beyond the iPod itself: possibly the long-awaited agreement to bring the Beatles catalogue to Apple's iTunes.

All of this speculation ahead of the big event Tuesday comes as Apple shares continue to rise, something I've written about quite a bit lately. The fundamentals of this company remain robust, to say the least, and now we have new data points from Piper Jaffray indicating that Apple may sell 804,000 iPhones in its September quarter, which would be way ahead of Apple's own estimates of 730,000 units.

It gets better: Piper also now expects Apple to post its first 2-million-unit Mac sales, building of course on the record-setting Mac performance the company posted last quarter.

No matter what Apple unveils tomorrow, the company still enjoys that knack for generating excitement, and generating big-time moves in the company's shares. Think about it: these shares dipped to $115 or so a few weeks ago after surging past $140 a share, and I suggested a kind of reality check for investors.

Here we are again with Apple shares licking up against a new 52-week high again with a nice 3% pop today. Apple investors run the risk of a sell-on-the-news kind of day tomorrow, but when the going gets tough, hearken back to the fundamentals. This company keeps on keepin' on, with no signs of any meaningful slowdown.

So stick with Wednesday beginning at 1p EDT where I'll be live-blogging the news, as it happens, from inside the Apple event. It'll move shares one way or the other, and you'll get it here first!

Questions?  Comments?